"Creativity is contagious, pass it on." ~Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Monsters on Twitter

I apologize if you were looking for real Monsters.  You won't find them here!   What you will find is an awesome project that we did with our 3rd graders that deals with writing about Monsters. And it all came about because of a connection I made on Twitter.
This summer I created a sign-up site for Mystery Skypes and was interested in giving credit to the original "founder" of the Mystery Skype idea.  I did a little digging and eventually found that person.  Her name is Caren MacConnell and she is an awesome Tech Coach in New Jersey.  Well, long story short, we exchanged a couple of emails and she told me about an awesome project that she had done in the past called the "Monster Project" and asked if I would be interested in participating.   It piqued my interest and I was all in!  
The "Monster Project" is a descriptive writing project.  Students from different locations are paired up, each student has to describe a monster in writing that they imagine, then draw it.  Teachers in each 3rd grade collected the descriptive writings and we "snail mailed" them to New Jersey.  Mrs. MacConnell's 3rd grade classes did the same.  Students then draw a picture based on their partners descriptive writing.  After each student finished their drawing,  Skype sessions were planned so that each student could share their Monster with their assigned partner to see how well they did with their descriptive writing.

Well, we had one major problem while trying to complete our project.   Hurricane Sandy got in the way!  Mrs. MacConnell's classes were affected by this disastrous storm and were out of school for two weeks!  Once they returned back to school, we had a hard time finding a time before Christmas break to share our drawings, so we kicked off the new year with some amazing Skype sessions!
The students were excited to see how well their partners followed their descriptive writings while drawing their Monsters.  Some of the Monster drawings could have passed for cousins, some could have passed for twins!
I love the fact that this project made students focus on the writing process and how they really needed to pay attention to details when writing.  Even better was the fact that we were able to integrate a very simple tool in Skype.  Students were not only working on their writing skills, but their speaking skills as well.

Go ahead, contact a teacher you know from another state and ask them if they would be interested in participating in a "Monster Project."  This is such an easy way to integrate a simple technology into your classroom while working on writing!

Comparing our Monsters


  1. Sounds like a great project! I'm going to let my teachers know about this idea. I'm curious what the connection is to Twitter though...

  2. That is the coolest thing ever! Descriptive writing, reading comprehension and art all rolled into one. Now, if you could find a way to get them to sing about their monsters......



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